What are the 7 pandemics of cholera?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Since 1817, 7 cholera pandemics have occurred. The pandemics originated from cholera’s endemic reservoir in the Indian subcontinent. The first 6 occurred from 1817-1923 and were probably the result of V cholerae O1 of the classic biotype. Of these 6 pandemics, 5 affected Europe and 4 reached the United States, causing more than 150,000 deaths in 1832 and 50,000 deaths in 1866.

The seventh pandemic of cholera, and the first in the 20th century, began in 1961; by 1991, it had affected 5 continents. The pandemic continues today. This seventh pandemic was the first recognized to be caused by the El Tor biotype of V cholerae O1. The pandemic originated from the Celebes Islands, Indonesia, and affected more countries and continents than the previous 6 pandemics.

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